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Community Engagement

This section of the toolkit is focused on activities that will help you with planning how to establish, stabilize, and evolve sustainable community engagement for your program. It is designed to help you structure discussions and gain consensus about next steps for sustainable community engagement for your OSS program. It is not a toolkit for day to day community engagement.


Definition:  The Community Engagement facet reflects efforts to facilitate and foster involvement within a community. It is focused on encouraging users to become stakeholders. Those who have a sense of investment and ownership become champions who want the program to grow and succeed. A component of this facet also includes communication and outreach efforts to the community itself as well as the wider world of decision makers, potential users, funding agencies, and others.


Instructions

Brand new to It Takes a Village in Practice? Check out our Getting Started Resources before jumping in! 

Review the activities and goals below to select ones you want to use for sustainability planning. These activities are designed to help you move from one phase to the next and can be used in any order. You can use any or all of them. Suggested persona pathways are outlined at bottom of page, but it is not expected that programs would do all activities.    

These activities are currently available for beta testing.   As you use them, the ITAViP Co Directors are eager for feedback via ITAV@lyrasis.org

Some beta testers have kindly provided samples of their work with activities. They are included below as available.


Pre-Work

These are activities that may be helpful if you haven’t already done strategic planning.

A. Mission / Vision

Goal: To enable program governance to consider and create a Mission and Vision Statement if you do not already have one. Having a Mission and Vision Statement are helpful for many of the ITAV activities. 

Examples: Mission Vision

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Phase 1: Getting Beyond Initial Stakeholders

Phase 1 Objectives include: Involve a Wider Group of Stakeholders; Create an Outreach Committee; and Formulate and Implement a Communication and Engagement Strategy 

1. Who is Your Community?

Goals: Identify community stakeholders; Consider goals for each stakeholder group; Prioritize community stakeholders 

Examples:  stakeholders (list);  stakeholders (visual)

Related Objectives: Involve a Wider Group of Stakeholders; Formulate and Implement a Communication and Engagement Strategy 

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2. Create Personas

Goals:  Create explicit personas for community stakeholders; Enable checking future plans against persona goals

Related Objectives: Involve a Wider Group of Stakeholders; Formulate and Implement a Communication and Engagement Strategy 

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3. Plan an Outreach Committee

Goals: Create goals, identify gaps, determine timeline, and create mission/vision for Committee

Related Objectives: Create an Outreach Committee

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4. Create Outreach Committee Charter

Goal: Create charter to clarify roles and purpose

Related Objectives: Create an Outreach Committee

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5. Stakeholder and Engagement Matching Tool

Goals:  Understand the communication needs and preferences of stakeholders; Match stakeholders to engagement tools

Example: brainstorming

Related Objectives: Involve a Wider Group of Stakeholders; Formulate and Implement a Communication and Engagement Strategy 

DOCPDF

6. Create Communication and Engagement Plan

Goals: Understand plan components; Fill out and share plan

Related Objectives: Formulate and Implement a Communication and Engagement Strategy 

DOC

Template

Sample

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Sample

7. Evaluate Communication & Engagement Plan

Goals:  Evaluate implementation; Determine gaps and identify how to improve

Related Objectives: Formulate and Implement a Communication and Engagement Strategy 

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Phase 2: Establishing Community Engagement Infrastructure

Phase 2 Objectives include: Set Up Processes and Infrastructure to Facilitate Engagement; Clear Communication Practices and Policies; Increase Non-Directed Community Activities; Increase Transparency; Dedicated Staffing; Engage a More Diverse Set of Engaged Participants; and Engage with New Communities

8. Determine New Forms of Community Engagement

Goals: Determine what kind of engagement is right for your community; Map stakeholder groups to activities you want to support

Related Objectives: Set Up Processes and Infrastructure to Facilitate Engagement

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9. Identify Infrastructure for Community Engagement Activities

Goal: Identify the processes and infrastructure you need for engagement.

Related Objectives: Set Up Processes and Infrastructure to Facilitate Engagement

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10.  Assess Non Technical Documentation

Goal: Assess the non-technical documentation for clarity and usefulness

Related Objectives: Clear Communication Practices and Policies; Increase Transparency

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11.  Consider Branding and Consistency Issues

Goal: Ensure your community finds accurate and consistent information across platforms

Related Objectives: Clear Communication Practices and Policies

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12.  Increase Program Transparency

Goals: Understand the current level of transparency; Determine transparency goals

Related Objectives: Increase Transparency

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13. Value Proposition for Position Descriptions

Goal: Create value propositions for new program positions

Related Objectives: Dedicated Staffing

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14.  Empower Community Activities

Goals: Increase active representatives; Encourage non-directed community activities

Related Objectives: Set Up Processes and Infrastructure to Facilitate Engagement; Increase Non-Directed Community Activities

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15. We Can, IF...

Goal:  Help identify barriers and spark creative solutions 

Example: Activity snippet

Related Objectives: Set Up Processes and Infrastructure to Facilitate Engagement

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16. Identify Skills Gaps - Speedboat

Goals: Identify skill gaps; Better understand barriers for participation

Related Objectives: Engage a More Diverse Set of Engaged Participants; Engage with New Communities

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17. Increase Cultural Sensitivity

Goals: Consider the context and cultural norms; Consider how to adjust engagement to better fit other needs

Related Objectives: Engage a More Diverse Set of Engaged Participants; Engage with New Communities

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18. Identify Stakeholder Gaps

Goals: Identify gaps in community stakeholders; Improve understanding of barriers

Related Objectives: Engage a More Diverse Set of Engaged Participants; Engage with New Communities

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19. Engage with New Communities - Nodes

Goal:  Identify key influencers in new communities

Related Objectives: Engage a More Diverse Set of Engaged Participants; Engage with New Communities

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Phase 3: Assessing and Evolving Community Engagement

Phase 3 Objectives include Work Across Communities; Empower the Community Supporting Each Other; and Establish Ways to Continually Evaluate Community Engagement

20. Reassess Engagement Activities

Goals: Identify activities that need to evolve or be retired; Developing a plan and communicate changes.

Related Objectives: Work Across Communities; Empower the Community Supporting Each Other; Establish Ways to Continually Evaluate Community Engagement

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21. Context Mapping for future Community Engagement

GoalsConsider landscape for community engagement; Anticipate future needs

Related Objectives:  Empower the Community Supporting Each Other

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22. Review and Expand Infrastructure

Goal: Revisit infrastructure to evaluate how it can support non directed community activities

Related Objectives: Establish Ways to Continually Evaluate Community Engagement

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Suggested Pathways

You can use any of the activities in any order but we have designed some suggested pathways based on a few personas: 

  • Opportunity for change: The community has been building community for a while but you are looking to re-evaluate current styles and forms of engagement and what is necessary to engage new community participants. 8, 14, 17, and 18
  • Starter Kit: You want to dip your toe into community engagement. Start with 1 and 15
  • Unstructured: You want to find a quick ways to have less structured activities that can lead to practical next steps: 15


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